Hot Auburn Swimmers Lead NCAA Meet

Austin, Tex.--Second-ranked Auburn, led by junior star <b>Maggie Bowen</b>, is the leader after the first day at the NCAA Women's Swimming And Diving Championships at the University of Texas.

Bowen swam a time of 1:53.91 in the 200-yard individual medley to slam dunk her old mark of 1:55.49. Her time is a new NCAA, U.S. Open and American record time which she set last season.

Auburn has 153 points, Georgia is second with 127, Texas is third with 103 and top-ranked and pre-meet favorite Stanford is in fourth place with 98 points.

"Overall, this was an outstanding day for us," Auburn coach David Marsh said. "It is hard to imagine without seeing anything statistical that this wasn't our single-best day in Auburn women's swimming. But, it takes three days and we need two more like this one."

Auburn's best finish at the women's national championship is a fourth place finish, but that could improve this year with Bowen leading the way. "What can you say about Maggie," Marsh said. "She has just really committed to her training and the results have obviously been outstanding. The 1:53 really caught me by surprise. That is unbelievable. That race was important, but so was her 100 breast split in the 400 medley relay."

Bowen said, "This feels incredible. I was just hoping to get my best time and thought I could win with that. I didn't ever think I would go a 1:53. I can't believe it. I thought that I was probably going pretty fast during the race, but I am definitely very blessed. God has been very good to me."

The night started off for the Tigers with a second place finish in the 200-yard freestyle relay with the team of Becky Short, Bowen, Cassidy Maxwell and Eileen Coparropa swimming a school record time of 1:29.17.

In the 500 freestyle, sophomores Magda Dyszkiewicz and Heather Kemp scored for the Tigers. Dyszkiewicz finished third in a time of 4:41.98, which was just .05 off her own school record. Kemp took seventh place finish in a time of 4:43.90. "Magda was the catalyst for us tonight," Marsh said. "She raced tough and that third place was a big lift for the team." Dyszkiewicz was not expected to even score in the event and Kemp was seeded out of the top eight.

Kirsty Coventry, who qualified ninth in the 200 individual medley, solidified her ninth place in the finals with a time of 1:59.37 as she won the consolation finals on the night.

In the 50 freestyle, Coparropa swam to a third place finish in a time of 22.39 while Short followed close behind in sixth with a time of 22.52. The first place finisher, Maritza Correia of Georgia earned a new NCAA, American and US Open record in a time of 21.69. "The 50 free was really important for us tonight," said Marsh. "Eileen and Becky have really given us a valuable 1-2 punch."

In the 400 medley relay, the Tigers finished third with a time of 3:34.53 with the team of Coventry, Bowen, Demerae Christianson and Coparropa. Auburn's time in the 400 medley relay of 3:34.53 broke the school record, which was 3:36.74. Stanford, which finished first in the event, earned a new American and NCAA record in a time of 3:31.74.

Scoreboard

1. Auburn 153

2. Georgia 127

3. Texas 103

4. Stanford 98

5. Arizona 82

6. California 64

7. Southern Cal 61.5

8. Florida 55

8. Virginia 55

10. SMU 41

NCAA Swimming Site

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